Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Komen Foundation Reverses Course, Promises to Keep Funding Planned Parenthood

The last two days have been a huge publicity storm for the Komen Foundation as supporters and opponents of abortion squared off over the foundation's decision to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood to fund breast cancer exams. Today, Komen apparently decided that offending the pro-abortion half of the country wasn't enough, and decided to offend the pro-life half as well by reversing their decision and pledging to continue funding Planned Parenthood:
"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligiblity to appy for future grants," Nancy G. Brinker, the agency's ambassador, said in a statement.

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives."
In addition to disgust that the pro-aborts got their way on this one, I have to say that I'm simply staggered by the utter PR incompetence of this whole circus. Perhaps the hope on Komen's part had been that they could drop Planned Parenthood quietly and thus widen their support base without offending pro-aborts. Whatever the thinking that led to this high profile flip-flop, the result is not merely the appearance of lacking principle but also that those with strong feelings on both sides are now deeply distrustful of the organization.

UPDATE: LifeSiteNews is claiming (on the basis of statements by Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) that this is all basically smoke screen on the part of the Komen Foundation in order to get Planned Parenthood off their backs, and that all they're doing is promising to allow Planned Parenthood to continue applying for grants (at which point they may well not select them.)
Austin Ruse, the president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, who has been very closely following the Komen decision-making process, told LifeNews that the statement is not really a change in position but he says the sentence “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities” is “troubling” for pro-life advocates.

“This represents nothing new. We have known and have reported that they are continuing five grants through 2012. This is a reference to that. The second clause about eligibility is certainly true. Any group can apply for anything. It does not mean they are going to get anything,” Ruse told LifeNews.

“What this is is an effort to get the mafia off of their backs. As James Taranto said in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, this is a classic shakedown operation. Give us money or we will destroy you. This is Komen’s attempt to save their organization, which we should know is in peril. Our side should know that nothing has changed.”

Jill Stanek, a pro-life blogger, also says pro-life advocates should not give up on Komen yet.

“If Planned Parenthood is found guilty of criminal investigations, several of which are ongoing around the states (Medicaid fraud in Texas and California; fraudulent reporting and illegal abortions in Kansas, and yes, the federal Congressional investigation, etc.), Komen’s criteria will still disqualify Planned Parenthood from receiving grants, as it should,” Stanek says. “This is Komen’s attempt to get the abortion mafia off their backs. Planned Parenthood and its thugs have engaged in typical shakedown: Give us money or we will destroy you.”
Ruse responded to that saying those grants will very likely be the last Komen makes to the abortion business.

“Komen has five outstanding grants going out this year to Planned Parenthood. We have known about them all along. After that, the door is shut,” Ruse said. “Nothing has changed since the decision was made in December to defund Planned Parenthood after these grants are finished.”

“Could these Planned Parenthood groups apply for future grants? Of course they could. Anyone can apply for anything. Will they get them? Highly unlikely for two reasons,” Ruse added. “First, Komen’s new policy says they do not fund groups that are under investigation or groups that do not provide primary care of women or research.”

“Second, Planned Parenthood’s vicious attacks against Susan G. Komen for the Cure has engendered a great deal of hurt and anger inside the organization,” Ruse told LifeNews. “Quite simply, Planned Parenthood is utilizing a scorched earth policy against Komen and burning all their bridges. Funding will never come back to them. Keep in mind also, that Nancy Brinker may be trying to make conciliatory gestures to her former friends. But she is discovering what we have known all along, that Planned Parenthood are dishonest thugs.”
Frankly, I don't know whether I buy this or not, and even if it's true it seems to me that the double talk is only going to hurt them more. However, one can only wait and see.


Kurt said...

simply staggered by the utter PR incompetence of this whole circus.

beyond belief!

bearing said...

I would have said their PR department was incompetent even yesterday while the organization's position still appeared to be a positive move. They infuriated pro-choicers and probably lost a lot of donations there (while motivating an enormous one-time dump of donations to Planned Parenthood) and at the same time managed to be circumspect enough that a good proportion of pro-lifers were saying "no way is this a good move, they are just a bunch of hypocrites."

They would have done well to have identified in advance other community organizations who would have been receiving grants, to emphasize that they would continue to help low-income women in other ways.

This latest move is going to leave nobody trusting them.

(I called to politely ask for my donation back. Unsurprisingly, there was a long wait on hold, and I got forwarded to a voicemail box.)

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that Komen's policy of not funding organizations under investigation is brand new, and was put in place specifically to target PP. As such it is quite diabolically clever, given that PP is a political lightning rod and will pretty much always be under investigation by some grandstanding congressman or other.

I wonder if the policy has a sunset clause: if PP passes, say, six investigations without being found guilty of anything, do they get a pass from then on?


Brandon said...

and was put in place specifically to target PP

As far as I can see, this is purely a speculative interpretation, established on no definite evidence. Conceivably it could be true, but it could, for instance, also be true that the rule was merely occasioned by the PP investigation, not made "specifically to target PP"; there is a very big difference, and I have yet to see any evidence for the latter over the former, particularly any evidence taking into account the fact that organizations are not people and therefore have reasons only as unified as the people involved in the decision-making process.

The new rule unified previous grant-termination criteria with grant-eligibility criteria (previously I believe they were treated separately), and simply added a temporary suspension of eligibility for organizations while they are undergoing formal local, state, or federal investigation for one of the grant-termination criteria (financial or administrative impropriety). If one abstracts from the context, it's such a standard kind of rule for grant-giving organizations that it's rather surprising that Komen didn't already have it -- most granting organizations have means in place to protect themselves from the embarrassment of giving grants to organizations under investigation for financial mismanagement -- which PP certainly is, whether the investigation is trumped up or not.

Foxfier said...

If I had any faith in the sense of Komen, I'd think the rule came out of that abortionist who was indited about a year ago-- remember the "Women's Medical Society?" Gosnell?

Foxfier said...

Of course, PP getting caught up in covering up rapes doesn't help, either, but they'd have to actually get investigated on it....

Kurt said...

As far as I can see, this is purely a speculative interpretation, established on no definite evidence

Yes, but it didn't help that Right to Life groups put out statements saying "we won, we won!"

Foxfier said...

Where? The ones I saw were going "WHOO-HOO!!!!", but who took credit for changing Komen's mind? I've been out of circulation for the last week, and don't really get into the life sites....

Brandon said...


Well, yes, that could very well be a causal influence; much as the occasional unnecessary hysteria about the possibility of churches being permanently 'stripped' of tax exempt status (which the IRS can't do, since it all it can do is identify income streams that do not legally fall under the church's automatic tax exemption) as a partisan maneuver is often fueled by howls of 'strip them of their tax exempt status' over, say, Mormon donation to Proposition 8. A sort of antipathetic contagion, in which every forceful feeling in one faction is converted to an opposite forceful feeling in the other faction. I don't know if it genuinely was a cause, since, like Foxfier, I don't keep up very closely with pro-life sites; but it's entirely plausible that it's one of the things fuelling the rumor. The ancient Greeks were right that Rumor is a powerful goddess.